There’s a new face in the world of hockey betting and his name is Jared Bednar. Early Thursday morning the Colorado Avalanche announced that Bednar would be stepping in as Colorado’s new head coach making this the Avalanche’s seventh head coach and the franchises 15th (including the coaches they had when they were named the Quebec Nordiques). Bednar, of course, is filling in for Patrick Roy who announced earlier this month that he would be stepping down as both head coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations. While it is unclear why Roy decided to step down he did cite a lack of input in personnel decisions as the leading reason. After Roy announced his decision the Avalanche had no other option than to begin interviewing candidates, before settling on Bednar.
“I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench,” Joe Sakic, Executive Vice President/General Manager of Colorado stated to the media. “Jared’s track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey league speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business.”
While Bednar has never stepped on the ice inside the NHL, he did play for the East Coast Hockey League’s South Carolina Stingrays. Most of his playing career was with minor league teams switching back and forth from teams in the ECHL, AHL, and even the IHL. Even though he never made it to the NHL Bednar was still able to enjoy plenty of success, eventually being inducted into the Stingrays Hall of Fame in 2012. However, this was most likely due to his coaching success, rather than his playing success.
After retiring from hockey, Bednar came to the Stingrays as an assistant coach serving from 2002-2007. Once Jason Fitzsimmons stepped down, Bednar instantly became the new head coach and in just two seasons was able to lead the Stingrays to a Kelly Cup championship. After this Bednar stepped down and bounced around minor league franchises until he eventually ended up on the Lake Erie Monsters based in Cleveland. This was in 2015 and in the following season Bednar led the franchise to their first championship. While there are few hockey betting fans who follow the action in the minor leagues, there’s no debating Sakic’s original statement of Bednar being one of the best upcoming coaches in the business.
The end of the 2015-2016 season marked Bednar’s 14th season as a professional coach and also his 6th season as a head coach in the AHL. His record currently sits at 251-158-42 with a winning percentage of .603. Those who bet on sports know the Avalanche aren’t coming off their best season and after going 39-39-4 they don’t have the highest expectations for next year. It will be interesting to see if the addition of Bednar will be enough to earn a favorable ranking across hockey betting websites.
“My family and I are thrilled to be heading to Denver to begin this new challenge,” Bednar stated. “This is a great sports market with a passionate fan base and I can’t wait to get to work.”